Cindy’s Weekly Wisdom
How can you eliminate clutter without even trying? Sound almost too good to be true, but it’s not. Here are some things I eliminated from my life:
Paper towels – Paper towels were a real source of irritation to me, as well as being an unnecessary product in general. My husband tended to reach for a paper towel even when a rag would have been a better choice, and he often left them wadded here and there, rather than throwing them away. I have lots of rags – kitchen towels that got too ratty to hang on the towel bar, decade-old baby washcloths, and cut up old shirts. There is no shortage of rags at the Bogard household. When the last of the paper towels ran out, I did not replace them. There was remarkably little adjustment needed. Because I sometimes cook bacon in the microwave, and I like to put a paper towel over the bacon to cut down on splatters, I eventually bought another roll of towels, but I did not put them out. Instead, they’re in the cabinet near the microwave. Paper towels are not a free-for-all item; they are a tool for cooking bacon. Decluttered: Paper towels, paper towel waste, paper towel holder. Probably decluttered: A sense of wastefulness.
Newspaper – Many (most?) newspapers can be read on-line. As far as I can tell, few people read the newspaper through every day. Reading it on-line allows you to just access the sections you want without having all that paper build up around your home.
To be completely honest, we have not gotten rid of the paper; however, we share a subscription with another family. They read the paper in the morning, and we read it at night. However, if this arrangement were to fall through, we would not get an individual subscription. Decluttered: newspapers. Possibly decluttered: the guilt of not keeping up with the newspaper the way you think you should.
Books – I love a good library, and I virtually never buy books. I do sometimes buy used books at the library (50 cents for paperbacks and $1.00 for hardbacks). When I am through with them, they either go directly back to the library or to a friend, who will read them before she donates them back. I have mixed feelings about Kindles and other eBook readers, but having one does eliminate the accumulation of physical books. Decluttered: books and possibly the shelving needed to hold the books. Probably decluttered: the guilt of having purchased books that are collecting dust, unread.
Magazine subscriptions: The same as books and newspapers. Decluttered: Magazines. Probably decluttered: The pressure to read the magazine all the way through, pull out the articles you want to save, and the need to find a way to store these articles that you will likely never reference again.
Cleaning supplies – My friend DeeDee remarked “my mother would be stunned to know that I have a cleaning product for every different surface of my house.” Yes I’m sure she would, and no one needs this either. Colleen wrote two posts praising microfiber cloths, which you can read here and here.
My own cleaning supplies include an abrasive cleanser, homemade glass cleaner (vinegar and water), Kaboom (a soap scum buster for the shower), vinegar, natural toilet bowl cleaner (when this product is done, I intend to fill the container, which has a handy “under the bowl” spout with vinegar and try that instead), microfiber cloths, a broom and dust pan, a mop, a microfiber push broom, and a box of Magic Erasers. I also own a vacuum cleaner, but only have one rug in the house. If the vacuum cleaner breaks, I may get rid of the rug, rather than replacing the vacuum. Decluttered: Multiple unnecessary product. Probably decluttered: Chemicals that you don’t need to be breathing or adding to the environment.
Beauty products – Do you really need a different lotion for your hands and face? A different shampoo for each member of the family in the same shower? We don’t. Eliminating duplicates simplifies your routines, saves money, and keeps you from developing a build up of “I tried it but I don’t like it” products. Decluttered: Multiple products that do the same thing. Probably decluttered: Some of your fantasies about having skin as perfect as the model in the ad. (Don’t worry – her skin’s not that perfect either. For those of you who don’t believe me, I highly recommend that you check out the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty video “Evolution” here. It’s a great learning tool for your children, as well.)
Tampons and pads – I have minipads and several different sizes and brands of tampons under my bathroom sink. I bought them at Costco, so not only do I have a variety, I have a lot of them. After reading posts about reuseable personal hygiene items at The Greenest Dollar and My Zero Waste, I decided to try a menstrual cup. I’ve used it for two months now. Like all things, a little practice makes perfect. My last cycle, I used three minipads and the Diva cup. If my next few cycles are as successful, I will be able to declutter my very large boxes of tampons by donating them to the local women’s shelter. Decluttered: Multiple disposable products. Probably decluttered: A non-reuseable habit and the possibility of developing toxic shock syndrome.
Can you think something that you can do to Eliminate Clutter Without Even Trying?
Today’s Declutter Item
The rest of those coat hanger I mentioned yesterday that I forgot to give to my mum and dad. My friend Amber was happy to take them from me
My Grateful List
- Something that made be laugh ~ Andréia can say Dog Poo in English but doesn’t know the words for other things in her back yard.
- Something Awesome ~ Two beautiful days in a row. Great days for washing linen.
- Something to be grateful for ~ That my friends and family no longer give me gifts.
- Something that made me happy ~ Discovering something by mistake. I won’t bore you with the details but I do love it when this happens.
- Something I found fascinating ~ Why the crickets that get into my house all seem to shed their back legs before they die. If anyone knows the answer to why this happens I would love to know.